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Set In Stone

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  762 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
Recovering from the recent death of his wife in a cliff fall, Tony Sheridan goes to stay with her sister and her husband at their house in Rutland. The house, called Otherways, is in some senses a character in the story: a strange, circular, moted construction dating from Edwardian times.

Disturbed by memories of his wife and a growing attraction to her sister, and troubled
Paperback, 416 pages
Published December 1st 2000 by Corgi (first published January 1st 1999)
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Nov 17, 2008 Lucy rated it it was amazing
This is the book that introduced me to Robert Goddard - it won't fail to disappoint!
Apr 11, 2009 Maggie rated it did not like it
usually this author writes well, engaging the reader in a suspenseful but believable story line. However this book annoyed me - it was not worth reading.
Mary  (Biblophile)
I really enjoyed this one. A good mystery with spooky overturns. I read this at one setting as I found it hard to put down. The story was told from the first person perspective (which I don't usually like) but this one was well told. The main character is a man driven to solve a mystery, racked with guilt, and unable to let go of the past. Many red herrings. However, some things still were left unsolved.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 11, 2011 Caroline rated it liked it
I am a fan of Robert Goddard's books when they are set in the last hundred years and this was an especially clever one. I enjoyed the history of the building, even though the connections were a bit macabre! I liked the idea of how our lives cross with other owners of our homes.
Joe Stamber
Jan 05, 2014 Joe Stamber rated it really liked it
Shelves: paper, read-2014
It's getting quite difficult for me to review Robert Goddard's novels as I've read quite a few now and they have a familiar style. As can be seen from the rating, it's a style that I like so that's no bad thing. Many, if not all, of Goddard's novels begin with a seemingly innocuous event that turns out to be the catalyst for an intriguing mystery of many twists and turns. It's to Goddard's immense credit as a wonderful storyteller that I have never become tired of this formula, although after fi ...more
Jul 08, 2012 Michele rated it it was amazing
This was a really gripping, suspenseful tale full of twists and turns and spooky weirdnesses. Goddard is a master storyteller who creates fascinating mysteries. Definitely coming to be a favourite author of the genre.
Jul 19, 2012 Helen rated it it was amazing
I really liked this one. A slight change of pace from the others of his I've read. It was narrated in the first person by Tony, but not as a traditional first person tale. Tony was talking to his dead wife all through the book, which made it feel somewhat that he's telling you about what's been going on, rather than just telling the story. I won't say it was unputdownable, but when I did put it down (to go to work for instance) I was aware that it was waiting for me at home and that I needed to ...more
Selaine Henriksen
Aug 06, 2012 Selaine Henriksen rated it it was amazing

I'd read this book before and have been looking for it, but forgot the name. Finally found it and read it again and it's as good as I remember. It's a love story, a ghost story, and a thriller all in one.

A round house is at the centre of the story and our cottage is round, with a square/rectangular room off the back. There's a wonderful relaxing, comfortable vibe there, nothing supernatural at all. Still, I like the "scientific" explanation for the house's oddities.

This is one of Goddard's best.
Bryan Higgs
Oct 20, 2012 Bryan Higgs rated it it was amazing
This is the twelfth Robert Goddard book I've read in my quest to read all his books in chronological order, and this one was a good one.

From the start, you suspect that the opening where the protagonist loses his wife in a cliff fall is going to be tied back into the main plot, and -- well, I'll let you find out for yourself.

In this book, the protagonist is not as weak as are many (most?) of Goddard's male characters, although he is influenced -- again, I'll let you discover by what.

As usual, th
Dec 16, 2012 Keryn rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
Having recently read the classic horror 'The Haunting of Hill House' I saw a number of parallels in this story, and for similar reasons it was not my favourite read. It's not my best genre, but I persevered to the end because I wanted to know the outcome, and the plot did not disappoint with its twists and turns for which Robert Goddard is well known.
Deirdre Slocum
Jan 24, 2013 Deirdre Slocum rated it it was ok
Meandering plot. I felt like something was missing. I think it was the disjointed telling of two seperate plots that never really were joined in a cohesive manner. The mystery of the house was never well developed or concluded.
Nov 04, 2013 Donna rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Goddard is a great mystery writer with excellent plots and character development. I'll always read everything he puts in print.
Debra Morris
Mar 13, 2013 Debra Morris rated it really liked it
I love Goddard's books. This one had a paranormal element that added a gothic element to the novel.
Debbie Robson
Aug 17, 2013 Debbie Robson rated it liked it
I've read quite a few of Goddard's book and this is not one of his best although strangely I think it would make a really enjoyable movie. You have the incredible house with moat - Otherways, set in a flooded lake. You have a pattern of unexplained deaths and you have sets of lovers and a mysterious old lady. Although not nearly as captivating as Goddard's recent novel the excellent Fault Line, I still enjoyed reading Set in Stone.
Kathy Einarson
Sep 20, 2013 Kathy Einarson rated it really liked it
I hadn't read a Robert Goddard book for awhile and I missed him. Very glad I picked up this one!
Amazing, twists, turns, suspense and as always surprising revelations. Loved it, one of my favs of his. Now, I want to read another one!
Eddie Dalton
Jun 06, 2014 Eddie Dalton rated it liked it
Good story. I've been to Rutland a few times& author described it well! The premise of a house having power to influence the past & the future was a bit far fetched! But on the whole a worthwhile read!
Oct 25, 2013 Mitch rated it really liked it
Darn good story telling from Robert Goddard. Not a strong voice on the writer's personal tragedy, but thankfully avoiding the cloying. A mysterious yarn set around a strange house that sent it's architect mad and some of it's inhabitants after him. The mysteriousness of Otherways (the house), avoided straining credulity for those of us who can't suspend disbelief even for a good yarn, and the underpinning conspiracy fell into the believable spectrum. Maybe not far in, but it was well written and ...more
Mar 06, 2014 Sandy rated it liked it
the hotel bookshelf... not many choices... oh well... Okay but basically bland and somewhat annoying... not likely to ever read another of Goddard's books. just not my style.
May 11, 2014 Thierry marked it as to-read
Shelves: bookcrossing
I registered a book at!
Thomas Strömquist
Did not think this one was up to his usual standard, it is a bit short and unengaging. Goddard is a very good author and I would think that all his books are worth reading, but this one could safely be skipped in favor of one of his others.
Barry Bridges
Jul 24, 2014 Barry Bridges rated it liked it
Shelves: drama
One of Goddard's more existential plots. I'm still not convinced the mystery that was solved was the one I wanted solving!!
Lakshan Wickrema
Oct 28, 2014 Lakshan Wickrema rated it it was amazing
One of the finest thrillers I have read for a long time - but then this is consistent with Robert Goddard - I finished the book within 3 days - Two Thumbs Up - Recommended
Chris Hebditch
Jan 03, 2015 Chris Hebditch rated it really liked it
I began reading this and was prepared for a love story which changed to what I thought was a ghost story and then turned into a spy thriller. A short book which was easy to read. Wouldn't turn down the chance to read more of his books.
Jan 14, 2016 Cathy rated it it was ok
I've read several of Goddard's books and have always been a fan. This book had an interesting storyline, but I found the book slow and I was anxious for it to finish. I got bored but still wanted to see how it ended.
Vic Van
Jan 18, 2016 Vic Van rated it it was amazing
Not a stand-out Goddard, but you can never go wrong with his books. He is a gifted story-teller with a nose for tantalizing geographical and historical settings for his fictitious characters.
May 05, 2016 Sonia rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
This was beautifully written but not a compelling story.
My reaction to this was so mixed, I’m not sure I’d recommend it to anyone.
It was well written enough to keep my attention but several of the characters just weren’t likeable, including the lead one.
Some of the twisted paths taken in unraveling the “mystery” were so convoluted, as to be unsatisfying, and in the end I’m not sure all of the loose ends were tied up.
There were two stories running side by side, while also being intertwined; on
Miriam Smith
Jun 21, 2016 Miriam Smith rated it really liked it
Robert Goddard writes a really good book, attention to detail with a well thought out storyline. Can be a little slow but it is after you have finished the book you realise it was well worth the read and I would recommend this book.
Sep 03, 2016 Sandra rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this one for the overall theme a lot better than the previous Robert Goddard novel that I had read recently. This one was more gripping and more understandable as a plot, although I did sort of lose my way a bit towards the end, did get a bit confused with the story line. But overall I do like his novels
Sep 29, 2016 Clive rated it it was amazing
Shelves: amateur-sleuth
Just one more of many suspense-filled mysteries from a master story teller. When I first discovered Robert Goddard I was warned by a bookstore clerk that even Goddard fans didn’t like Set In Stone, although she didn’t exactly say why. Thus I saved it until last, reading all of his others first, only to find that this one is one of his best!

It seems that some dislike the “supernatural” element of this story, or consider it out of character for this author. The latter may be true as he hasn’t writ
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In a writing career spanning more than twenty years, Robert Goddard's novels have been described in many different ways - mystery, thriller, crime, even historical romance. He is the master of the plot twist, a compelling and engrossing storyteller and one of the best known advocates for the traditional virtues of pace, plot and narrative drive.
More about Robert Goddard...

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